Doug Hoffman, the conservative New York congressional candidate whose race drew national attention earlier this month, said the special election was "a fight for the soul of the Republican Party."
"Conservatism is alive and well in America," Hoffman told Dome. "My campaign has shown that the American people are fed up. They want smaller government with less regulation, less taxes on businesses and individuals. Most of all they want to curb the spending on money that we don't have that is going to put our children and our grandchildren in debt."
Hoffman had been scheduled to be in Raleigh on Saturday night, along with former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, to speak at the state GOP's Hall of Fame Dinner at the North Raleigh Hilton. But he was forced tocancel because of complications from eye surgery.
Hoffman ran as a third party conservative candidate against Dede Scozzafava, a state legislator whom GOP party officials chose to fill a House vacancy after President Barack Obama named Republican Rep. John McHugh as Army Secretary.
Hoffman said he was prompted to challenged Scozzafava because she didn't represent conservative values. He noted that 37 Democrats in the New York legislature had a more conservative voting record than hers.
A few days before the election, Scozzafava withdrew from the race and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.
Even though a traditionally Republican seat went to a Democrat, Hoffman said he has no regrets about his campaign. He said he is seriously considering challenging Owens next year.
"In the 2010 elections across America, including North Carolina," Hoffman said, "there is an excellent opportunity for conservatives to win both nationally and locally."
Not just a military decision
As Obama continues to ponder the future of American troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Rep. David Price stressed last week that the matter isn't just one for the military.
"Nobody thinks this should be a rushed decision - or a decision that should just be about the military," Price said. "We have to be aware of the security requirements to back up national policy, not military action for its own sake."
Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat, returned Monday from a weeklong swing through the Middle East. He spent three days in Afghanistan meeting with troops, generals and Afghan government officials.
Price told Dome that Obama shouldn't rush into a decision on Afghanistan. "He should take the time and consideration he needs to make the decision in a careful and responsible way," Price said.
Price said Obama should look at Afghanistan's long-term needs as an emerging democracy and whether military support can assist that effort.
"We're not talking about a Jeffersonian democracy here," Price said. "We're talking about some modicum of stability."
Money pitch rankles lobbyists
There has been some grumbling among lobbyists who thought it was inappropriate that they received a campaign solicitation from Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, whose office regulates lobbyists.
Marshall, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate race next year, sent out an e-mail solicitation on her birthday (Wednesday) asking for an $18 campaign donation to mark the occasion.
"We didn't intentionally put any lobbyists on the list," said Thomas Mills, Marshall's campaign manager. "If they got a solicitation it is because they had some sort of relationship with Secretary Marshall in the past. We would be glad to remove their names."
By staff writers RobChristensen andBarbaraBarrett.
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